Question received via Twitter:
Q: Do you recommend any free swinger web sites for the U.S. I’m cheap!
A: Hubby and I have used a lot of online resources to find playmates. We even once took a road trip to meet a couple in Illinois that we met in an AOL chatroom. The internet is filled with websites that could be classified as “swinger sites”. I assume the reader is asking about social networking sites for meeting other swingers. This post will focus on sharing our experience with several of these sites. But first, I want to highlight some great swinger sites that are in a slightly different genre.
Swinger’s Resource Sites
Swinging is a very special way to explore and express sexuality. It’s outside the norm and is unique for each person and couple. Some swingers only do soft-swapping (no sexual intercourse), others only play as 4somes in the same room, still others (like hubby and I) play together, but also have solo-trysts. When a couple wants to start swinging, there can be a lot of questions. Even experienced swingers run into unique situations that require additional thought and consideration. Here are a few of the sites that I have personally found to be helpful resources for exploring the philosophy and practicality of swinging as a lifestyle choice.
I’m more familiar with some of these sites than others. I anticipate additional commentary about each of these sites in the future as I continue to utilize them as my own personal resource library. But for now, I’ll just give you a little quickie-look-see so you can bookmark.
Swingers Board – an active, supportive discussion forum with people from all walks of life
Life on the Swingset – a multi-contributor site with tons of information in the form of blogs, podcasts, and articles
GentleNibbles – a diverse blog that includes advice, stories, and articles about the Lifestyle
Swingercast – a podcast series about swinging
Now on to the real question: Where do I find people to swing with??
Finding Local Swingers Online
When Hubby and I started swinging in the early 90’s, swingers placed ads in magazines. We placed our first ad in the swinger magazine Midwest Connection. Midwest Connection used a double-blind mailbox system so that we could receive mail without any of the respondents knowing our home address. We received only one response and it was from a single male who we weren’t interested in meeting. I love telling that story because it is amazing to think how much the internet has made swinging so much more accessible (and fun).
I could probably name at least a dozen social networking sites for swingers, and there are probably hundreds I don’t even know about. Hubby and I have profiles on 3 or 4 sites, but regularly only check a couple of them. The trick is trying to figure out which one best fits your personal situation. Some sites are more exclusive to couples, while others are more singles-friendly. Different sites are more popular in different areas of the country. I suggest checking out several sites. Notice how many profiles are in your area and how much recent online activity is going on. Go to some local events and ask around. If you can find out which one or two sites are most popular in your area, you won’t waste your money joining a site with no action.
Our Personal Experiences and Recommendations
Craigslist: We’ve tried using Craigslist to find people, and it is free, but it takes a lot of time for a very little payoff. If you are truly cheap, you can use Craigslist, but expect to spend a lot of time without a lot of action. Craigslist can also be a pretty dangerous place, so please be very careful! Meet in a public place, maybe even a few times, let someone know where you will be and when to expect you back. While Craigslist may work occasionally for a single hook-up, if you want to make friends and truly become a part of your local lifestyle scene, you should consider joining a site.
Lifestyle Lounge: Lifestyle Lounge (or LL) is a very user-friendly, feature-rich site. You can upload public and private photos, send emails, texts, and instant messages. There are event postings and booty calls. This is an extremely popular site in our local area, but there are members all over the US. We joined this site in 2008 and instantly became addicted. Once our free trial ended, we immediately paid the one-year subscription fee. Your profile will remain on LL even if you let your paid membership lapse, but the functionality goes way down. We haven’t been paid members for the past year or so, and I would say the site is essentially unusable without a paid membership. We would like to get back on LL, and while the site seems a little expensive, it’s really only $15.83/month if you sign up for a year at a time.
If you want to check out Lifestyle Lounge, you can get a free 2 week trial membership when you sign up with a referral code. (Free trial is normally 1 week without the code.) The link above has our referral code embedded, which is pretty cool too because if you sign up for a paid membership with our referral code, we can earn points toward a FREE lifetime membership! That would make me almost as happy as my Hitachi Magic Wand! 😉
Swing Life Style: This site is also known as SLS for short. There are a ton of people on this site and you can have some limited functionality for free. I can’t really say that I recommend this site, but its mainly because we haven’t spent enough time there to know much about it. We’ve never paid for a membership here, so we haven’t enjoyed the full functionality. It seems like a decent place to start out, if you don’t like Lifestyle Lounge for whatever reason.
We’ve also created profiles on some other sites, but the results have been lackluster. For the purposes of this blog, I dug through my email archives to take another look at some of those sites.
I found an old link to GroupSensual.com which I don’t even remember joining or ever visiting. It looks like the site has basically turned into a link farm for porn. We also have a profile on SwingerZoneCentral, but I’ve never really spent any time browsing the site. When I logged in today, we had 8 new messages, but they were all from the administrators. There were 1679 users online, 59 booty call listings for today, and 30 events. It definitely appears there are some people using this site, so it might be worth checking out. For us personally, even though there are quite a few local profiles (636 members “in my area” – 300 within 50 miles), I noticed that most of them don’t have any photos, which basically makes this no more helpful than Craigslist. The events and booty calls listed on this site are all more than 300 miles from me. This is a prime example of the importance of location-specificity. Most of us in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area are on other sites, so even though SwingerZoneCentral is cheaper, it’s not really a better value. Finally, I have to mention Adult Friend Finder (or AFF). I don’t know what’s going on with that site, and I don’t really want to. AFF calls itself “The World’s Largest Sex Dating Site & Swinger Personals Community”. It feels like a giant porn conglomerate with links that say things like “Get Laid Now” and little pop-ups that say things like “Hi there! I’m looking for some hot sexy fun tonight. Click here to send me a message.” I don’t know if there are real people looking to hook up on AFF, but there is a testimonial from a guy saying how much he likes watching the “live sex webcam shows”. I hate Adult Friend Finder so much that I’m not even providing a link to it here. I checked out their affiliate program thinking….hey maybe I can get some click-thru $$$ on this blog post, but decided I don’t want to sell my integrity for $1 per click. I do know one friend of ours who has found some playmates on AFF, but we’ve never used it.
We also have some local sites that we frequent, which are great, but very specific to the Minneapolis/St. Paul area. They are mostly attached to specific events or parties. They are really only useful if you are from the area or will be traveling here. Keep in mind though that swingers are usually pretty careful about keeping our party locations private. Being a member of a site like Lifestyle Lounge can give you the inside scoop on places to visit locally and when you travel.
So to sum up, there are some great “free” swinger sites that offer resources, advice, and articles: Swingers Board, Life on the Swingset, GentleNibbles, and Swingercast. But if you want to meet and play with other swingers, you’re probably going to be happiest if you can find a quality membership-based site that is popular in your local area.
If you are a swinger, I would love to have you leave a comment with your own experiences. Where do you go online to find playmates? Which sites are most popular in your area? — Also, I’ve spent a couple hours on this entry and I’m too tired to proofread, so if you find a spelling error or typo, will you please email me at sabrinaswings-AT-gmail so that I can correct it? Thank you!